Both my son's are huge fans Lego and I am pleased Lego is a fantastic thing your child can use their imagination and creative skills with. Building with small bricks to make some fantastic things that they can then play with is great fun for any child. Over the last year and a half my son's have built their Lego collection up starting with basic box sets so they can make their own inventions. For Christmas last year my eldest son who is now 5 ½ years old got his first Lego City set.
Lego city is a set range Lego began making back in 2005. It is what Lego call all the sets that make city life items, like a police station, garbage truck, fire truck, train station and many more. The sets range in size and price and the particular one I am reviewing today is the Lego City 3179 Repair Truck. The sets have all the specific bricks to make the picture on the front of the box and come with a detailed instruction booklet to build them. They are no longer about your child using their own imagination but about building a particular thing Lego have designed. The Lego City range is aimed at children between 5 and 12 years old, some slightly more difficult sets do have an age range of 6 to 12 years instead.
Lego City 3179
This particular set is a repair truck that comes with a workman and a street light. The truck is quite small measuring roughly 12cms in length and 5cms in width when completely built. This little yellow and grey truck has a small cab at the front of the truck and a flat bed at the back. The cab has a working door at either side for the workman to get in and out. There is plenty of detail to the back of the truck too with down one side of the flatbed two thin cupboards to put the spare light bulb (a thin see through yellow brick) in and some tools. There are also some hooks to hook some small tools too. Attached to the back of the truck is a working folding crane arm with a small white basket for the workman to stand in. The crane arm moves up and down and side to side allowing the man to do his work. As well as the truck itself and the workman the set also comes with a street light which is also to construct and a little green bin to go by its side.
As with all the Lego City sets it comes with an extensive instruction booklet. A twenty seven page booklet with thirty three steps to build your truck and five steps to build your street lamp there is plenty to keep your child busy. The first time we got it out of the box my son struggles with it (not quite 5 at the time) and his daddy ended up doing most of the building work. That said my son was still involved finding the pieces for his daddy to use. His daddy also carefully placed all the sticker on which was quite a fiddly task. Obviously for an adult it wasn't too difficult a task and didn't take him that long to construct. Since then my son has a couple of time dismantled the truck and with only a small amount of help now has been able to build it himself. It does take him a good length of time to do it but it certainly keeps him occupied.
My son really loves this repair truck and the fact he is pretty much able to build it himself now just gives him more added fun. He loves things that come with small detailed bits. He is a huge fan of Playmobil products because of the detailed small pieces. So to him this is a perfect combination something to build himself and make what is on the box and then to have hours of fun playing with it too. The workman has repaired many lights in that street lamp and he has repaired many other toys too with his crane arm feature. My son looks after his repair truck and keeps it out of the way of his younger brother who although loves Lego is still at the building houses with the basic bricks and he can be a little heavy handed with small things still.
I was a little unsure how much play my son would get out of this at the time he received it. He still loved to build his own invention and with a Lego City set you are kinder restricted. I couldn't be more wrong though my son loved it from the moment he got it and he has begun to grow with it being able to assemble most of it on his own now. I am quite impressed with the quality of the truck but then again I shouldn't be really as it is Lego after all! My only niggle is the cab is quite small and fiddly for my son to get the workman in but he manages. The wheels on the truck are nice and thick and the vehicle runs nice and smoothly on our floor. Overall I think it a sturdy little truck for my son to play with. The age range for this particular set is 5 to 12 years and I would definitely agree with the lower end of the age range to get the full potential of the product I wouldn't recommend for a younger child. The set is made of a lot of small fiddly pieces and does need care to be taken over it. But all in all my son and I are very pleased with the first Lego City set he received.
The set doesn't seem to be widely available anymore but can be picked up on Amazon for £14.80 which for a Lego set that builds such a great product I think is worth it. I have been impressed with the Lego City range and have since bought another set for my son as he enjoyed this one so much.
The street I live in has seen more than its fair share of drama this year, a full scale police chase, a raging house fire and, in a lighter "comedy moment" the time an unfortunate learner driver backed into a street lamp while we all looked on aghast - and no, I don't live in Soap Land, honest. It was in homage to this dramatic event, that was followed by a real truck arriving in record time (well done Council) that we bought this mini City Repair Truck, the whole incident having proved to have filled an entire afternoon for one four year old observer who was talking about street lamp repair trucks for months, so it was fitting that this should be her first solo construction project.
The truck kit contains 118 bricks in all. It's pretty well as pictured above, there's a jointed street lamp, a very cute little rubbish bin, and a repair man who can sit in the cherry picker and go up to the lamp as well as driving the truck itself. The door has opening doors and a steering wheel, two little tool boxes complete with teeny tiny tools and a spare lamp and a pleasing amount of detail including headlights, proper windscreens as well as the moving arm of the repair truck itself.
Construction wise, this is straight forward enough, there are 33 steps all together, building is long enough to prove interesting but not too challenging; as I've come to expect from Lego the instructions are excellent and easy to follow. I found my 4 year old was able to complete them with minimal assistance, I think a 6 year old would manage by themselves with ease, the only real difficulty were the smaller studs and there were a fair few stickers too for number plates and signage. We actually had a piece missing from our set, the first time this has ever happened, so had to improvise the base of the truck. We filled in an online form and Lego sent out a replacement piece for our set.
Once made the truck is nice and sturdy for play - a small criticism is that the cabin is a bit compact for the mini-figure who doesn't have the luxury of a seat and is a bit hard to take in and out, and the small toys are easily lost but quite cute. The wheels however turn well and this has good play value in my opinion, it's been pressed into use to rescue a cat and assorted figures from a house upper window. I like the fact that the truck doesn't have too many huge pieces in it and looks quite authentic rather than cutesy - you should be aware however that it's quite small at 10cm long and 6 studs wide. Currently this truck is on display in my daughter's room in pride of place, with the mini-figure brandishing a screwdriver purposefully - the builder of this model is very proud of her creation!
Overall I think this is a pretty good addition to the City range which is good value given that it's great to build and play with as well. It's definitely a kit that has been enjoyed by my child - most children may not share her enthusiasm for light repair men, but it's still a vehicle that I think most Lego builders new or experienced would probably enjoy. Recommended.